Eddie Jones : England coach needs to control players

Eddie Jones has been linked extensively to the England coaching job

Former Wallabies and Japan coach Eddie Jones says that whoever takes over the England coaching job from Stuart Lancaster must have greater control over the country’s Test players.

Jones is one of the favourites to succeed Lancaster even though he has insisted that he is committed to Super Rugby side the Stormers in Cape Town South Africa.

England’s governing Rugby Football Union (RFU) failed to introduce a central contract system when the code turned professional 20 years ago, with players tied to their clubs instead, and Jones said that had to change.

“How can you manage your players when they are controlled by other organisations?” Jones said in an interview with the ESPN scrum.com website published on Tuesday.

“In my opinion, that is the single greatest task ahead of whoever is going to be appointed as the next England coach,” the Australian added.

Jones’s remarks were made public on the same day that William Hill, one of Britain’s biggest bookmakers, stopped taking bets on him replacing Lancaster.

Former Australia and Japan boss Jones fulfils the criteria of a coach of “proven international experience” which RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie said would guide his search for a successor to Lancaster, who stepped down last week after England became the first World Cup host nation to fail to get out of the group stage.

Jones was Australia’s coach when they lost the 2003 World Cup final to England and four years later was a member of South Africa’s backroom staff when they became world champions.

This year saw Jones oversee Japan’s impressive performance at the World Cup, which included a shock defeat of South Africa — the biggest upset in the tournament’s history.

Jones recently took up a post as coach of South Africa’s Stormers Super Rugby side but is linked to England on a daily bases. .

“I’m committed to the Stormers, mate. I woke up this morning and looked at the (Table) Mountain, so I’m here,” he said during a Cape Town news conference last week when asked about the England vacancy.

His comments to the Scrum website were made shortly afterwards but only published on Tuesday.

Australia coach Michael Cheika joined a growing list of high-profile figures who said they didn’t want the England job on Monday, with South Africa’s Jake White, the Springboks’ boss when they won the 2007 World Cup and now in charge of French club Montpellier, the only man to publicly declare his interest.

But after a World Cup which, for the first time, did not feature a northern hemisphere side among the semi-finalists, Jones said European nations had to address fundamental issues if they were to challenge the likes of world champions New Zealand and runners-up Australia.

“The best example is to compare and contrast Italy and Argentina. Italy have been part of the (European) Six Nations for 16 years and their rugby has basically regressed,” former Brumbies boss Jones said.

“Whereas, Argentina have featured in the (southern hemisphere) Rugby Championship for four years and their game — in particular their ability and execution on attack — has grown exponentially.

“The Six Nations is a dour affair and is built on the foundation of not allowing the opposition to score points.

“On the flipside, the Rugby Championship is all about scoring more points than the opposition.”

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